be at the bottom of (something)

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be at the bottom of (something)

To be the fundamental cause of something. Stubbornness is at the bottom of every unresolved disagreement.
See also: bottom, of

be at the bottom of something

If something is at the bottom of a situation, it is the real cause of it. Remember that pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes. Note: You can also say that something lies at the bottom of a situation. This decision quite probably lies at the bottom of the colony's current discontent.
See also: bottom, of, something

be/lie at the ˈbottom of something

be the basic cause of something: Racist feelings almost certainly lie at the bottom of these recent attacks.
See also: bottom, lie, of, something
References in classic literature ?
I feel none the less sorry for you, especially as I am at the bottom of your troubles.
She sees me and busts open a smile as if she's just getting off a ship after a long voyage and there I am at the bottom of the gangplank, the one she expects but is still a wonderful surprise.
If I am at the bottom of the slide in case they fall off, I can't be at the top as well.
It is the imaginary other self that allows the narrator to embrace what he is as a human, "Yes," he says, "I am poor, I am vermin, a bug, I am at the bottom of the scale.
At a size 12 and 5ft 10in I am at the bottom of a healthy body mass index, so if I had lost any weight when asked I would have become medically underweight.
I feel as though I am at the bottom of the ladder again and I need to climb it.
When I finish my session I am told I am at the bottom of the Bridge to Total Freedom.
When I am at the bottom of the hill it is easier to get the bus than to face the walk uphill.
The next day I feel like I am at the bottom of the heap--my back is killing me, my head feels like a boulder, and the weather turned cold.
Right now I am at the bottom of the ladder, so the only way to go is up.
I am at the bottom of the coaching ladder and learning things every day,' said Howley.
And here I am at the bottom of America, in the centre of Key West, the town I came all the way to see.
FACT: When Alford was unexpectedly arrested following a phone call to the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr Gausden told Mirror lawyer Martin Cruddace: "I hope you appreciate that the matter is out of my hands in that I am at the bottom of a chain.